I'm an American citizen looking to move to one of several places in Europe. Could I get some advice?

Now before you say "Europe isn't all it's cracked up to be, the grass isn't greener, etc, etc"... I know. I've visited France and Spain, I have 3 very close friends that live in England, and I have been studying Romania, Norway, France, and the Netherlands since high school. I have thought a lot about this and this is something I have wanted since I was much younger, and now is the time that I have to start thinking about actually accomplishing this goal.

I'm mainly looking for advice for planning in the long-term. I already have some skills that I reckon could be useful, but you tell me. The countries I am especially interested in are Norway, France, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and perhaps Italy, Finland, Sweden, or Germany... although I want to keep an open mind. I just don't want to live anywhere especially shoddy.

Right now I can speak French intermediately, meaning I can understand about 95% of what French people say (although the Quebecois are a different story, LOL) but it takes me a couple seconds to piece together my reply. I studied it in school for 5 years and I intend to stick with it when I go back for my second year of uni.

I am also teaching myself Norwegian, although I am barely conversational in it. I am absolutely fascinated by Norway, and if I could live anywhere I'd choose Oslo... although I've heard it's incredibly hard and expensive to move to Norway.

So learning languages isn't an issue for me, it's actually one of the few things I excel at. I am going back to uni for my sophomore year next semester after taking a break (I ran out of money and my grants won't cover enough so it's on my own dime... ouch) and I want to start thinking about a major that would be useful for what I hope to accomplish.

Would a job like an English professor (in a foreign country) be sought to be filled by a foreigner? I have also heard that engineering degrees are in demand in many places in Scandinavia, but I'm pretty crap at math... but if it will really be useful, I'll learn. Any degree ideas?

I also want to add that I was an idiot in high school and graduated with a 2.4 so I don't qualify for any study abroad programs, and my local university does not offer any. :( In addition, my relatives are all from America until you go back to my great-great-grandparents (who were Dutch and French, I have a super Dutch last name!) so I don't think I'll be able to scrape by on that.

Oh, and I've got an English friend who has offered to do a "green card marriage", but I have been reading up on UK immigration laws and I'm not sure if that would work, can anyone offer some insight?

So sorry for the wall of text, I tried to make things as concise as possible without sounding stupid and having to specify more stuff. Thank you in advance to anyone who responds.

5 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Forget Switzerland, it's the most insanely expensive country in Europe. Also forget Finland. Finnish and Hungarian are the two languages in Europe that aren't related to any of the others in any way. Both in terms of grammar and vocabulary. You may as well attempt to learn Chinese. I'd add Poland to the list. The southern half of the country is cheap, beautiful, way more developed than most of Eastern Europe, and in desperate need of an upgrade to catch up with Western Europe and therefore much more likely to accept teachers wishing to immigrate. Plus the people are incredibly friendly and Polish is close enough to the Germanic languages that learning it shouldn't be too much of a pain.

    Everything else is a possibility. I suggest you spend the next summer backpacking through Europe to get a feel for each country and see where you think you could spend the next however many decades. Then look at their immigration laws and see what you'd need to get through the system. Also remember that movement within the EU is pretty much free, so once you get permanent residency in one member country moving to another will be much easier than it would be for an American national.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I can talk about teaching English as that's my area of specialty. In general you'll need a BA degree and a TEFL/TESOL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate to get work in Europe.

    The degree can be in almost any subject as it is usually required for the visa only so you will find teachers with a degree in Engineering or Sociology. Having said this, to help get the job it's obviously better to be English or language related, for example a degree in English literature.

    The TEFL/TESOL certificate can be taken either in-house or online at your own pace which is a much cheaper option (see http://www.icaltefl.com).

    However, the biggest problem is going to be one of getting the visa. Most of the countries you talk about are in the EU and it's very difficult for an American (etc) to get a visa and work because schools in the EU tend to look for British or Irish teachers who are free to work there.

    Of course there are exceptions and you may get lucky; or you could try Switzerland but that opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of getting residency there. It can be done and many Americans do work there, but it will take plenty of effort on your part and a degree or luck as well.

    Good luck!

    PS The article below is all about Americans and others getting work teaching English in Europe.

    Source(s): Non EU teachers in the EU: http://www.icaltefl.com/index.php/resources-2/tefl...
  • 7 years ago

    Your post is well written and I feel bad responding in such a brief manner, but all that matters is that you have an advanced university degree in a discipline that would allow you to fill a position that cannot be filled by anybody who can legally reside and work in any country of the European Union. So you'd have to be pretty special.

    That aside, naming Norway, France, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, Sweden, and Germany in one sentence is pretty . . . um . . . stupid. It's like telling a European that you especially like living in Alaska, Alabama, California, Hawaii, Nebraska, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, places that have as much in common as Ketchup with a banana.

    Source(s): An immigrant of German and Swedish decent, I am an attorney and reside in the charming old mission town of San Buenaventura, California.
  • 7 years ago

    the truth is that no other country will allow you to be a permanent resident unless you have a lot of money to plop into a bank there....the rest of the world, including European countries think all Americans are rolling in dough.....

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Graset ær bront hær

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